“’Kooyong – Beyond 2010’ represents a new era for the Club for existing and future Members.” Bruce Henderson, Architect.
The great legends of Kooyong are too numerous to list. They date back to the opening of the famous stadium in 1927 when Gerald Patterson, a local hero (and the favourite nephew of Dame Nellie Melba), defeated Jack Hawkes of Geelong in three-and-a-half hours of sweltering heat to capture the Australian title for the first time.
Since that time, there have been scores of other historic occasions. Of note was the Davis Cup Challenge Round of 1953 and the narrow victory of Sydney teenagers Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall over the reigning Wimbledon and US titleholders Vic Seixas and Tony Trabert.
Equally as memorable was the drama of the women’s singles of 1965, which ended in Brazil’s elegant Maria Bueno writhing on the court from an ankle injury and unable to complete her three-set struggle with Australia’s Margaret Smith. And the shock of the 1984 semi-final loss of world champion Martina Navratilova to Helena Sukova, an upset that cost Navratilova a calendar-year Grand Slam.
These, and many other gripping spectacles form part of the story of Australian tennis, much of which took place on the hallowed turf of Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club. These stories form the basis for the Kooyong Tennis Museum, established by the Club to depict and document historical moments for the benefit of present and future generations.
The Museum was created as part of a $12 million development that extended and modernised the Clubhouse, a project called “Kooyong – Beyond 2010”. This is a unique living Museum in which architect Bruce Henderson’s imaginative design showcases the history of tennis throughout the Clubrooms. Displays are regularly moved or updated as circumstances dictate. Such a distinctive approach allows Members, guests and visitors to enjoy a dynamic, constantly evolving atmosphere, rich in history and tradition.
Kooyong is rightly known as “The Spiritual Home of Australian Tennis”. Its innovative Museum will ensure Members and visitors are very much a part of this admirable tradition.